Renewable Energy Leads, 3rd Day

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Electricity generated by the cheap and non-pollutive renewable energy led Sri Lanka’s electricity sector for three consecutive days to Tuesday (12), Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB’s) yesterday’s (13) data showed.

Of the total electricity supplied by the CEB to consumers in Sri Lanka in the three days to Tuesday, renewable energy share were 50.1, 52.55 and 52.36 per cent respectively, while the balance electricity supply was provided by the pollutive and imported fossil fuels. Prior to Tuesday, the last time RE provided over 50 per cent of the country’s electricity needs for three consecutive days, was eight days ago, from 3-5 July 2022.

Tuesday’s fossil fuel breakdown comprised CEB coal (12.95gWh), CEB diesel (3.88gWh) and private sector diesel (2.21gWh) respectively. And Tuesday’s renewable energy breakdown comprised CEB hydro 14.28gWh, equivalent to 68.23 per cent of total renewable energy generated on that day, followed by private sector wind (2.11gWh),  CEB wind (2.10gWh), private mini-hydro (1.86gWh),private solar (0.32 gWh) and private biomass (0.26gWh) and respectively

According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s 2021 Annual Report, the cheapest source of electricity generation to the CEB last year was “CEB hydro,” costing a mere Rs 1.67 a unit or one kilo Watt hour (kWh) of electricity followed by coal (Rs 10.87); non-conventional RE such as mini-hydro, wind-both CEB and private sector, biomass and solar (Rs 18.99), “CEB diesel”
(Rs 29.01) and “private diesel” (Rs 30.35), respectively.

CEB’s hydro breakdown of Tuesday comprised Mahaweli (7.82gWh), Laxapana (5.04gWh) and Samanalawewa (i.e., both Samanalawewa and Kukule Ganga hydroelectric power project (HEPP) together):1.43gWh respectively.

In the 193 days that have transpired in the year up to  Tuesday, RE was responsible for providing 50 per cent or over of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs in only on 44 (22.80 per cent) of those days and FFs in the balance 149 (77.20 per cent) of those days.

Meanwhile, the 900 mW Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, is however, generally, only partially operable for several days, forcing the Government of Sri Lanka/CEB to be over reliant on the expensive diesel to meet a large size of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs.

BY PaneethaAmeresekere